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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there all,

Years ago, I ran across and purchased a great video on the Israeli Shooting Method.

For those of you not familiar with ISM, it involves drawing a semi auto pistol with chamber empty, racking the slide as it is being drawn into eye level position, indexing the front/rear sight with the target, and firing as the sights are level with the target.

I am/was amazed by the speed and accuracy of this technique and tried it at my local range when conditions permitted.

I really believe that the Israeli's were really on to something when they devised this technique which draws the best features of disciplined combat/instinctive shooting.

Does anyone else have any experience with the ISM?

Chris
 

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Sounds like condition 3 carry with a 1911, which is the way I carry mine. I learned to carry condition 3 way back in the 50's while in the Marines. That's obsolete now, like me, and condition 1 is preached everywhere. I'm not anywhere as fast as the ISM method, but condition 3 is fast enough for me.
og
 

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I can't see carrying a modern semi auto handgun with the chamber empty, except perhaps at the range. I especially can't see the Israelis doing it; this sounds to me more like a training exercise or parade ground demonstration, not a standard practice. Having to chamber a round is a waste of time that could be better spent getting that sight picture.

And if they do carry what is essentially an unloaded weapon, what do you want to bet that the handgun is not the primary weapon?

What happens when you go into a potentially dangerous situation and need to remain vewy, vewy quiet? Racking that slide robustly enough to chamber a round is going to create unwelcome noise.
 

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Sorry I didn't clarify, but I don't carry my 1911 CCW. It's a car gun for long trips, home protection, or range. Too old to carry it IWB anymore. So for me condition 1 ain't necessary. Besides, being a civilian, if I'm aware of a potentially dangerous situation, I'm going to leave the area as fast as possible.
Cheers,
og
 

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The Israeli draw-rack-fire method is exactly what was taught in all Israeli combat handgun courses through at least the late 80s. It really is amazingly fast and effective when done well and practiced regularly. The draw is only part of the "system", there are many other factors involved. I did my first course there in 85 or 86, with 2 guys who were early ElAl skymarshalls. What they could do with a HiPower would make your head spin. The advent of TZs and Glocks, as well as other DA pistols in Israeli service, spelled the end of the racking operation.
 

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I concur with johnnyc that the Israeli's who used the P-35 back in the 80's used the empty chamber rack method. I use this method myself to this day because I'm old also and don't want to change starting now.

LelandRay did have a good point, why? My guess is the Hi-Power was not the primary weapon when using this technique. If I was stuck with one weapon in Indian country that was a SA Hi-Power, it would be condition 1 at all times. Different scenarios warrant different carry techniques.
 
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I think the technique had more to do with the best way to present a pistol when saddled with a rule/law/regulation requiring chamber empty carry.
 

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There is more to the story than SOP, etc. being the reason for the Israeli technique.

Consider that the BHP has had a factory Ambi safety for about the last 17 years. Historically, it had a small, single-sided safety. Safety manipulation was "iffy" at the best when the pucker factor went Richter. It was completely out of the equation for lefties. So, ergonomics necessitated a weapons manipulation technique that was, in no particular order: a, reliable; b, simple yet safe; and c, usable by both left and right handed shooters. In other words, the weapon and the conditions under which it was used dictated HOW it would be used.
 

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Abninftr hits the nail. The pistols used by Israel during the primary draw-rack years were HPs, Beretta/Helwan 951s, and Beretta .22 autos. In general, cocked&locked was not the best option for these pistols.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi there,

Interesting replies.

OK, if we discard the draw and rack segment from the technique and continue with the modified isosoles crouch with the instinctive point/shoot over the sights, than can we ask the question, "is this technique as outdated as we are implying visa vis the weapon being deployed?"

abninftr, you did indeed hit the nail on the proverbial head.

Chris
 

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The "system" incorporates a lot of movement and getting into a shooting stance at speed. The "crouch" stance, as you call it, comes almost naturally as you stop to assess and engage targets. You almost fall into it. I think it is still valid and usable.
 

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I agree with Jonny. It is viable.

It only seems out-moded to those trained in what I call the "American School" with an inherent element of cultural bias. This is true not only about shooting techniques, but shooting stance and loading techniques as well. For example, just look at the debate about tactical v. speed v. combat reloads.
 
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This is why I'm so glad I don't have any formal "combat training," and just safety training. For me, the best way to reload is simply whatever way gets my gun ready to shoot again, soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi abninftr,

I tend to agree alot on this point:


It only seems out-moded to those trained in what I call the "American School" with an inherent element of cultural bias. This is true not only about shooting techniques, but shooting stance and loading techniques as well. For example, just look at the debate about tactical v. speed v. combat reloads.
In the evolution of shooting for combat shooting, the gun games and training, we tend to want to define and dissect everything without paying attention to what is truly effective in the "real world".

If S&W came out with a Nike- like slogan, "just shoot it", we would all fair a little better.

In the end, all that matters is that you can hit your target fast and hard.

Chris
 

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Tracing "Israeli Carry" back you'll find that it is, in fact, derived from Fairbairn and Sykes teachings and their dislike of safety devices. Refer to "Shooting To Live".

In WWII there were several units of Jewish Commandos formed/trained by the Brits. Majors Fairbairn and Sykes set the H2H and firearms training standards for the Home Guard and Commandos early on it the war.

Also, to the best of my knowledge, militaries throughout the world, upon adopting semi-automatic service pistols, carried in Condition 3 and mostly continue to do so. Since this practice goes back to the turn of the 20th century is difficult to pinpoint its inception.

My take on Condition 3 carry is, if you're concerned at having a round in the chamber you need better training.

To me, one either needs a firearm at the ready or one doesn't. A semi-auto that's semi-empty is only effective on a semi-threat.

My biggest concern here is for the less experienced and/or new gun owners.

I have run across this "empty chamber" phenomenon considerably with this category of shooter. They adapted condition 3 on their own claiming they felt "more comfortable", read that safer, and all they had to do was "jack a round in" and they felt ready to go.

After a sit down talk with them, explaining that empty chamber is, in my opinion, a hold-over from the SAA revolver days (empty chamber under hammer), it's done many times because "that's the way Grandpa carried his 1911 in the Army", that IF the weapon is NOT SAFE to carry in condition 1 they should get a different piece (IE some of the old striker fired semi's), etc. etc. etc., they usually agreed and we worked from there.

I also reiterated the points that they may want to consider a revolver for carry and that, in my opinion, one either needs a firearm at the ready or one doesn't.

Only one person, a very good friend in fact, who was still convinced on condition 3 carry and at that point we went to the physical demonstration stage (pistol cleared, checked and ammo stored, of course). At room distance (21 foot rule?) I got him every time, usually before he completed his draw let alone operated the slide (and no, I'm not Jesse Owens).

At this point I mentioned that he may not always face his attacker(s) and how well would this/his method (empty chamber) work when jumped from behind. Case closed.

These old bugaboos really need to be laid to rest. I remember, when I was a kid and shot with the Chicago Police Explorer program, there was an older "Narc" who carried his J-frame with an empty chamber under the hammer. He told us, in all sincerity, that this would prevent the weapon from discharging if dropped and we believed him because "he's a Cop and he knows".

So to all the less experienced and/or new gun owners who may be reading this, get yourself educated, trained, and then make your own choices. Remember use your common sense when deciding. What works for one doesn't work for another, however, some issues are obvious. THINK!

I'm done, have a good day (however you carry),
KG59
 
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I read in in depth discussion of the "Israeli" method of carry for the semi auto many years ago. The reason given for this awkward and potentially troublesome method of carry was SAFETY. Israelis live in a society that is armed to the teeth. They adopted this method of carry to avoid ADs. Many military organizations impose similar safety restrictions.
I disagree with this method of carry because, in my experience, malfunctions are more likely to happen when the slide is hand cycled than when the pistol is actualy firing. Also the method requires TWO HANDS which may not be an option in a self defense situation. In such situations, the first rounds often decide the outcome. Rather than carry a fourteen round semi auto with an empty chamber, I would opt for a six shot revolver that could be fired with a pull of the trigger. I have a lot of respect for the Israelis, but I think they are way off base on this issue.
 

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KG59 is spot on as to the source. Gammon has the scoop on the problems.

I had an israeli student (who was *very* much experienced in the use of this system). After about 10 minutes of discussion (with a little comparison shooting) he decided not to use it any more.

Dont get me started on the silliness of carrying an unloaded (or partially loaded) gun ???

Onward,
Jim
 

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that's why I like to carry a pistol with a "decocking" lever or one with a Glock type action so I can carry a round in the chamber without the hammer cocked. For the reasons stated, my 1911 doesn't see much carry time. In spite of hundreds of pages of evidence that condition 1 is perfectly safe, it just doesn't look "safe". IMO.
Just a faulty mental condition from my years in the Marines way back in the 50's when the 1911's we were issued were so loose and banged up we were afraid to carry those things condition 1. Sorry if I'm a holdout, too old and stubborn to change.
og.....please don't tell me I'm stupid, I already know that.
 

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Oldgrandpa, I got my 1911 training during the '90's, and we were required to carry our beat-up old .45's in condition three. We also trained in condition one, because it was understood that in some situations, we would have a round chambered. The course of fire also called for repeated holstering and drawing, which meant of course, that there was a round in the chamber. We also did some work on one-handed drawing and chambering (this was cnsidered an emergency technique, as the muzzle is pointing right down your leg).

So now, here I am, with my first handgun in years, and it's a classic BHP (small one-side safety). Although I have no need to carry, if I did, it would be a long while before I carried in condition one. I'm just not comfortable with it (on this gun, and it's my only gun), and I like the idea that if anyone gets ahold of it, it's a step removed from being fireable (two steps, if I can hit the mag release). Yes, I know all the arguments forwards and backwards. Maybe I'll change some day, but I won't hurry.

Make your own decisions based on what you feel comfortable with. You're the one walking around with that loaded pistol.
 

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Email does not convey tone very well so be assured that there is no disrespect or criticism here.

I had a Colonel ask me the other day if carrying my 1911 wasn't "dangerous". I told him it sure was!

Then I asked him how he carried his M4.

I don't depend on mechanical safeties but if a Cond. 1 1911 is "unsafe" to carry then so much more so is a Remington 870 (or any other pump or autoloading shotgun) or a Double barrel hammerless shotgun and a whole host of bolt action rifles because their safeties are in no way as robust nor block as much as does the 1911.

In their test the Tacoma PD pointed out that a Kimber series II was safer to carry cocked with the safety *off* than a Glock carried normally. They were right!

Just a thought,
Jim
 
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